Monday, September 20, 2010

Stylistic Virtue of Correctness

Recently I posted on the stylistic virtue of correctness.  To the rhetoricians, this virtue consisted of using proper Latin, and was called latinitas.  One advantage of correctness is that you actually know what the author is saying.

Well, it is that time of year again when I read a ton of freshman essays.  Some are quite good, most have some issues, but none have ever been able to top the following essay.  I have not edited this essay in any way, it appears exactly as I received it except for my removal of the name.  My reactions are in brackets and red type.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton born in 1815 played a huge role in the development and acknowledgement of women’s rights.  Although, her involvement with women’s rights sometimes over had owed [this was supposed to be "overshadowed] by her friend and colleague Susan B. Anthony, she was the one who wrote speeches and organized the movements (women rights movements [ahh, yes, the WOMEN rights movement]) important techniques [?] and documents.  Stanton worked closely with different women during the women’s rights [?] lucretia Mott helped Stanton led the Seneca Falls Convention, 1848.  This convention was encouraged after Lucretius [Obviously the brother of Lucretia Mott] Mott was denied a seat at the anti slavery meeting in London.  Many abolitionists anti slavery leaders worked with Stanton on women’s rights [punctuation?] Frederick Douglas attended the Seneca Falls convention.

Over the years Elizabeth Cady Stanton along [?] Susan B. Anthony, led the national women’s suffrage Association.  On [I find many of my students have problems with choosing the correct preposition] the many speeches and organized meetings on of Stanton’s most famous speeches was the 1845 address on women rights.  The address holds true to the idea the women are not inferior to men.  Stanton clearly states that women are cable of do accomplishing [I love that line] anything that a man can do.  Many women of the past have done a lot things that have man like qualities for example, Catharine of Russia, Elizabeth of England distinguished for their states manlike [Messed up quote, should read "statesman like"] things.  There as [?] been many more women that have done many acts to stand up for there rights because you have a lot people that believe that a woman can’t do a man’s job.

Stanton was woman that stood up for her rights she did not believe in taking a back set [I hate taking a back SET] for anyone, she had her own way of how she wanted things to go and she was not going to let a man determine her outcome on anything that she believe that was right.  “Let us now consider man’s claims to physical superiority.  Methinks I hear some say, surely you will not contend for equality here.  Yes, we must not give an inch lest you claim an ell, we accord to man even this much [Quote, should read "Cannot accord to man"] and he has no right to claim it until the fact be fully demonstrated.”  Stanton was a woman of knowledge and she learn look [?] to at the whole picture before acting on anything her beliefs was to show mankind that she was a woman that was able of doing just about anything that a man can do and she was not going to let any “man” stop her from what she wanted to do [Preach, Preach!].

I believe in what Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood for because I feel that there is nothing wrong with standing for what you believe in, it takes courage and a lot of will power stand and to take on challenges that people have to offer you so in many words she was woman that had her mind made up, she was going to fight the good fight faith [Ahh, yet, the good fight faith] and that takes a special woman or human being to do something like that [tears are forming in my eyes].

Stanton apes [It took a little while for me to figure this one out, but I figured on Microsoft word, if you type "aoes" if automatically corrects it to "apes." The student obviously meant to type "goes."] on to say that men have the advantages to educate themselves, travel and observe, but yet they act like a bunch of barbarians.  “Who have the advantage of observing their race in different countries, climes, and under different phases, but barbarians they be entertaining such an opinion.” 

In all Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a women [Wow, she was such a woman that she deserves the plural] that would not take no as her final answer [She was actually the first host of Who wants to be a millionaire] but she was a woman of heat [?] and she stood up for rights that is why is a [?] woman that would always be remembered because of her actions that she took on behave [?] of all the women in the world, cause [why not just say CUZ] of Stanton [?] actions women today have a freedom [insert preposition here] speech to do what any man can do [?] that’s why Elizabeth Cady Stanton she is on the great leaders of the past [Is she sitting on them? Standing on them, can't decide].
 Notice how much the lack of correctness gets in the way of reading and understanding. 


  1. I have had some student essays that were absolutely unintelligible.

  2. I've had some bad ones, but not quite that bad.